Sen. Cory Booker called on his fellow democratic senator from New Jersey Bob Menendez to step down after he was indicted last week on bribery and corruption charges.
In a statement Booker said the allegations in the indictment were “hard to reconcile with the person I know.”
“There is, however, another higher standard for public officials, one not of criminal law but of common ideals. As Senators, we operate in the public trust. That trust is essential to our ability to do our work and perform our duties for our constituents,” Booker said in his statement. “The details of the allegations against Senator Menendez are of such a nature that the faith and trust of New Jerseyans as well as those he must work with in order to be effective have been shaken to the core.”
“As Senator Menendez prepares to mount his legal defense, he has stated that he will not resign. Senator Menendez fiercely asserts his innocence and it is therefore understandable that he believes stepping down is patently unfair. But I believe this is a mistake,” Booker said. “Stepping down is not an admission of guilt but an acknowledgment that holding public office often demands tremendous sacrifices at great personal cost. Senator Menendez has made these sacrifices in the past to serve. And in this case he must do so again. I believe stepping down is best for those Senator Menendez has spent his life serving.”
Booker joins several Democratic senators who are calling for Menendez to resign. The list includes John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Jon Tester of Montana, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Jacky Rosen of Nevada and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.